Spin Offs

Over the past years graduates and employees of the Institute for Geoinformatics have founded many successful enterprises whose commercial model is based on research results and research projects from their scientific work at ifgi. Here we are giving you a short overview and introduction on some of these enterprises.

Reedu GmbH & Co. KG

© Reedu GmbH & Co. KG

Reedu GmbH & Co. KG is the spin-off from ifgi’s GI@School actitivies and especially the senseBox project. The start-up company is based in Münster. The company offers products, concepts and services in digital education and citizen science following its claim “reengineering education”: from development and design of open-source hardware and software, over creation of educational concepts and resources, to coding workshops and hackathons for teachers and children. The most well-known product of Reedu is senseBox, available as senseBox:home – a DIY environmental station for citizen science, and senseBox:edu - a hardware set used in universities, schools and in private education. Both sets consist of a microcontroller, several sensors (e.g. temperature, light, air pressure, air quality etc.) with a focus in photonics and an internet connection (e.g. WiFi, LoRa etc.) to upload measurements to the product’s IoT platform openSenseMap. Other services in the senseBox context are visual programming interfaces and dashboards. Many of the Reedu employees have a background in research at the Institute for Geoinformatics at the University of Münster, therefore a close R&D cooperation exists until today. The skillset in the company is technical driven by software and hardware engineers with a lot of experience in product design and citizen science. Reedu employees with an educational background perform workshops and create educational content framing the products.

con terra GmbH

con terra's core competence comprises the whole spectrum of methods and tools used in the manufacturing of IT solutions in the field of geodata processing. This includes all the semantic, structural, and pragmatic aspects of collecting, managing, analysing and displaying spatial data, as well as training and consultancy activities in the field of geoinformation systems. The enterprise was founded in 1994 by Dr. Albert Remke who is still connected to the Institute as a honorary professor.

Within the scope of the Open Source Initiative 52°North con terra maintains an intensive cooperation with the Institute for Geoinformatics and occupies among his 180 employees also numerous ifgi graduates.

52° North

The open source software initiative 52°North is an international network of partners from research, industry and public administration. Its mission is to foster the development of new concepts and technologies in Geoinformatics through a common innovation process. Partners participate in so called R&D communities, focusing on common themes, such as Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) or web-based Geoprocessing, for example. 52° North was founded in 2004 by the Institute for Geoinformatics of the University of Muenster (ifgi) and its spin-off company con terra GmbH (Muenster) as an informal initiative for free and open source geospatial software. The basic idea was to enhance the already existing cooperation and to gain further partners from research and industry by developing an appropriate business model and organizational model. The core element of this model was to publish results from the collaborative software development process under an open source license.

The 52°North partners have a long and outstanding record in the Geo-IT domain. They are actively contributing to the development of international standards, e.g. at W3C, ISO, OGC or INSPIRE.


proPlant was founded in 1996 as a result of a long-term cooperation between the agricultural commission of North-Rhine Westphalia and the University of Münster. One of its co-founders was Prof. Dr. Ulrich Streit, also founder and first director of the Institute for Geoinformatics. proPlant designs and develops innovative software solutions that are tailored to practical field conditions and requirements. Its main product, "proPlant", is a standard in crop consulting and professional arable farming.

In February 2016 proPlant has joined the Bayer AG and operates as Bayer Digital Farming GmbH.


Millenia GmbH was specialized in developing applications in geospatial services for mobile devices and e-commerce. It was founded by Dr. Yaser Bishr in the year 2000 when he worked as an assistant professor at the Institute for Geoinformatics. After developing first solutions for location bases services, Millennia and its assets where merged with Image Matters LLC in 2001.